Come Back With a Smile

It could be fatal last words and as I write this, I am already regretting thinking it but the weather has actually improved this week. I did morning duty without a coat on one day and even contemplated allowing the pupils back on the field at lunchtime. As I said, I look out of my office window at 7.00am on Friday morning reflecting upon the week, seeing the drizzle and decide I must have been dreaming.

Last weekend, we had two groups of pupils representing the school at different events. Mr Lord was with one of our trampoline teams in Telford for the national finals of this year’s competition. The team of Oona, Milly, Eleanor (Year 6) and Chloe (Year 5) did very well indeed finishing second overall. Couple that with an individual third place for Oona and I would say that is a successful outing. Whilst I would never usually comment on other pupils, from other schools in a blog about Whitehill, there was a particularly exciting moment for Milly in her flight as she was sharing a trampoline with a notable and recognisable child who shares a surname with one of the country’s top universities!

A great performance, girls!

At the same time as our pupils were bouncing, I went along to watch our girls’ football team take part in the end of season rally at Wilshere Dacre School. It was an exciting morning and there was some great football being played across all of the schools. Our team finished third overall and can feel proud with their achievements this season.

As always, a huge thank you to Mr Lord and Miss Gooderham for giving up another Saturday to support a school event. I never take this commitment for granted and I know our parents appreciate their hard work and that of all of my team. Miss Gooderham is out again this weekend as it is the turn of the boys’ team to compete for one last time this season.

Across the week, many of our Year 5s have been completing their Bikeability course. They started with Level 1 on Monday and then went out and about the local area completing their Level 2 from Tuesday. Their outings always start and finish outside my office window and as they always seem to come back with a smile on their faces, I assume they have been enjoying it. That hill out of the school gates is a horrible way to start the ride, however!

Joshua shows the way (although seems to have lost his hi-viz jacket!)

Our local authority adviser visited on Monday. He started the day with me looking at the work we have been doing over the year to date. We have just entered the Ofsted window again having received our amazing, rising judgement last time and so need to be ready for ‘that call’. (We are!) We did have a wander around the school and he chatted to staff and pupils. I think this comment in the report I received yesterday is worth sharing.

‘The pupils remain as industrious, settled and hard-working as ever. Their attitudes to learning are overwhelmingly positive… The behaviour and welfare provision is undoubtedly outstanding and has been for many years.’

I have been quite busy this week and gaps in the diary have been hard to find. I have still written a few Headteacher’s Awards, however and chatted to pupils about the work they have been doing.

Linguists from Kahlo Class who came to see me this week with lovely French folders

The rearranged Wix Cup Final took place on Tuesday and although I wasn’t able to watch, Mrs Granger provided me with a running commentary via text. It wasn’t to be this year, although Albie (Year 5) did manage to hit his favourite part of the crossbar again!

I mentioned Miss Gooderham’s excitement last week as we took delivery of a new set of football goals and this week, Mr Waluk helped us to put them together. They are so nice and we can’t wait to start using them. My only concern? The posts and crossbars are even bigger now and so that provides even more of a target for Albie!  

It was definitely a three-person job!

A huge thank you to our Friends’ Association committee and parent volunteers for running another set of very popular discos on Wednesday evening. Both discos were well attended including by some staff who fancied a boogie. Our Friends’ Association do such a great job and, in these times of increasing costs and shrinking school budgets, provide some additional, valuable funds to ensure our pupils can have the amazing opportunities I write about each week. Of course, it isn’t all about money and the social benefits of their work should never be underestimated.

Another great evening

We had two sporting events on Thursday afternoon. Despite the drizzle which started just as the team got to Purwell, our cricket team played in a pre-season friendly with a positive result. Miss King took this team, whilst Miss Gooderham took a football team to participate in an end of season tournament. The boys all did so well in the latter and despite not getting the rub of the green at this competition, can feel very proud of their achievements across the year, as their season comes to an end. Our ‘A’ Team play in their end of season competition on Saturday.

A successful season – well done, boys

I saw a post on our Instagram page from a certain member of staff alluding to the fact that not only are my blogs increasing in length but our celebratory Achievers’ Assemblies are also trying to break world records. This morning’s certainly was a mammoth affair.

A great result in the opening cricket fixture

We presented our termly ‘Wall of Fame’ awards across the eight classes and these will be on display near the hall if you visit the school on Monday. We also had our half-termly sports values awards to hand out and I should give a special mention to Logan (Year 3), Sophia (Year 5) and Evie (Year 6) who did the double, receiving a sports award and a wall of fame award.

Well done Evie, one of three pupils to ‘do the double’.

We celebrated some ballet exam certificates with a group of Year 3s who all passed with distinction. I think we need a demonstration in a future assembly. Willow (Year 5) shared her most recent Blue Peter badge, taking her collection to four.

The music this week was provided by some Year 4 singers. Nevaeh and Georgia sang at the start of the assembly, with Orla, Lottie and Julia singing at the end.

The regular awards were also handed out in the following way: Apollo won Class of the Week; Lamarr won the Wombles and once again, Air won the House Cup.

It was a long assembly and I hope Madam Skinner has forgiven me. That being said, celebrating together is important and we must protect these opportunities. It was lovely this week that Dr Kalmus, one or our governors, was in to watch and share our celebrations.

We have two sports fixtures taking place after school today. We have a netball match at Highover School and a lower school football rally at William Ransom. I am not sure I will get to either, as I have to be at Highbury for the first opportunity to say goodbye to Mrs Avey as she comes to the end of her last full week in charge of our feeder school. I have no doubt I will mention it again in the coming days, but it has been a privilege to work with Mrs Avey since become Whitehill’s head in 2013. She will be missed.

Next week is the last before the Easter break. We finish at 1.30pm on Thursday but have quite a bit to fit in before we can switch off.

I have mentioned it already but from 2.30pm on Monday, parents and carers are invited into school to come and see their children’s books and the work they have been doing this term. This is in advance of the consultation evenings which take place on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

We have a Year 4 architectural workshop taking place in school on Tuesday as well as a day of hockey festivals and competitions taking place at Blueharts for our upper school teams.

The new goals might get an outing on Wednesday as we run our Interhouse football competition with upper school in the morning and lower school in the afternoon.

Note that by the time we finihsed the first goal, it was dark!

Given all that I feel has been going on this week, I am slightly concerned I have missed something out. That being said, I can see by the word count that this week’s blog is shorter than last week’s and so will stop right here as a gift to Mrs Grant and my dad!

Have a great weekend.

Best wishes,

Steve Mills

All comments (1)

    Thank you sooooo much for all of your support in and outside of school team Whitehill 👍👍

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